A Hidden Gem in Le Marche
Wasting the day away in Italy is an art; from the cultural landscape, to the culinary delights, Italy is always sure to please. Some of the most spectacular sights take place in hidden gems, away from the throngs of travelers in the big cities.
The provence of Macerata, in the Marche region of Italy, is also known as “the land of wine, salami, cheese, art and culture”. This unique destination is located between the Adriatic Sea and the Sibillini Mountains. Like many Italian gems, it’s history has it’s roots in the Medieval Ages. This is apparent as soon as you see the large walls surrounding the historic center of the town, protection from invaders of long ago.
The first steps of a visit to Macerata will take you through Piazza della Libertà. It is in the piazza, that you will find the Merchant’s Town Hall, or Loggia dei Mercanti, built in the Renaissance age to be the central marketplace. The 15th century Torre dell’Orologio, St. Mark’s Clocktower, makes it’s grand appearance on the Northside of the piazza, bridging the political and religious with the financial and commercial sectors.
The best acoustics in Italy
Not far from this square, the a visitor can admire the Sferisterio di Macerata, a neoclassic, open-air building of the eighteenth century. The stadium was historically used to play the game of “pallone del bracciale”, a hybrid of handball and baseball. Today, the Sferisterio is home to the Macerata Opera, and during the summer months, hosts a season of music and theatre shows.
A man and his chocolate
Macerata has it’s share of sweet delights that a visitor should not pass up. A famous and clever artist of chocolate, Marangoni Cioccolato, is a must (especially the bocconcini). A trip to Italy is not complete without gelato, and Macerata has the heavenly Gelateria Almalù, and their specialty: chili infused chocolate.
If we were to continue on a gastronomic adventure through the area, another sure thing for a quick bite is the vincisgrassi al ciauscolo (salami) at the gastronomy shop “La Concorrente”. A traveler in need of a wine break would be wise to stop at Enopassione where a glass of wine is never alone; with it cheeses, salami and delicious finger food. Finish off the day’s “foodventure” at Le Case, whose chef is the very clever Michele Biagiola. The first day is complete, and the weary traveler will be more than satisfied!
Contributed by Vincenzo D’Antonio
Part one of two